Last year I was taking a break from running after the NYC Marathon so I volunteered at the LifeTime Thanksgiving Day Turkey Run in downtown Phoenix. This year I was just off a marathon and our huge event at work, but Thanksgiving was Sean’s birthday and I knew we would be running at least a little bit so when I found the Arizona Road Racers, Thanksgiving Classic had a 10 miler, I was like that’s it. Let’s sign up!
So we were in, we didn’t sign up until the week of the race so I think I paid something like $40 to do the race, I can’t remember exactly. It was in Peoria at the Peoria Sports Complex, which isn’t too far from my house and not too far from the NYC in AZ race I did earlier in the month.
They were expecting about 2,500 people. There were 461 people in the 10 mile and 1,079 in the 5k and then there was a 1 mile race too. We had to get our packets the morning of the race so I told Sean we needed to get there a bit early. The 10 mile was starting at 8:00am and registration opened at 6:30am. I think we got there around 7:00a. We parked over by the start & finish line and then walked around the complex to find the registration area. We got our bibs, blue for 10 mile, white for 5k and a black cotton t-shirt that actually is pretty nice. I got a small and it fits pretty good considering.
We went back to the car after getting our packets to stay warm and just chill for a bit before heading to the start. Of course I had to use the bathroom before hand and when we got back over to the bathrooms, which were real bathrooms for a change 🙂 but there was a huge line for the women’s rest room, big surprise there, lol. By that point there was only 15 minutes before the race started so I stayed positive while waiting and we ended up making it to the start line just as they were doing the national anthem.
Sean asked me if we were going to run together and I told him he could go and run on his own. I was still semi sore from the marathon and a weekend in heels and I had decided I was just going to see what happened.
Once we were off, I yet again had an issue with that stupid pouch and my spi belt. I really need to figure something out so I can run without having to deal with the bouncing. I also grabbed the wrong headphones and needless to say I didn’t have any music the whole way either.
My legs were really heavy and I managed to run until mile 4 or so and then I walked a little. We were on the Greenway on the pathways for the New River Trail System. It’s a pretty nice area to run in and very close to where I did the NYC in AZ race. My calves were pretty tight and this was really just for fun so I was just run/walking and enjoying it.
This was a bit of an out and back course, and I think I saw people on the other side until about mile 6.5 when I saw the last person. I walked a lot during mile 7 and then I ran the rest of the way in. I knew Sean was quite a bit ahead of me and I kept thinking, maybe he’ll come back after I finished and finish with me, and at mile 9ish, I saw him and we were able to run the last mile together.
That was the best part of the race!! And amazingly, I was able to run that last mile in 8:37 – crazy! Oh and I almost forgot because I haven’t run a lot of 10 mile races, this was only my 2nd one, I think, but I did PR it by about 10 mins so that was exciting too :).
After we finished the race, we took some photos, as per usual, and then headed over to the area where we got our bibs, they had bottles of water, bananas, apples, chips & granola bars. They handed out pies for the top 3 in each age group so as we enjoyed the sun and chilled before heading home, we listened to them announce the winners for the 5K and then eventually the 10 miler.
The nice thing about doing the races in Peoria is that there is a lot of parking, so you don’t have to really worry about that. The trail paths are nice, it’s not just flat canal, there are some ups and downs, albeit not drastic. This was my first race with the Arizona Road Racers and I think they did a good job. My only complaint would be that I’m not a huge fan of the out and back on these trail paths because it can get a little congested, but all in all I enjoyed this race.
It’s nice to do the smaller races from time to time. And it was a perfect way to celebrate Sean’s Birthday and start our Thanksgiving!